TFC Signings a 'Bloody Big Deal' for Canada

Tim Leiweke and Toronto FC sign big players to Canada’s biggest city
by Henrik Lonne   |   Thursday, January 16, 2014

Made in Canada - coverage of the Canadian MLS, NASL & USL Clubs, CSL, PCSL, Canadian Championship & Canada National Teams

In several videos, Toronto FC promised its fans that the team’s presentation on Monday would be a ‘”bloody big deal.” It certainly was. Not only did TFC sign a potential World Cup striker for England in Jermain Defoe, but also one of the best CONCACAF players in his prime in Michael Bradley.

Along with Gilberto, the Brazilian DP-forward signed in December and MLSers in Jackson and Justin Morrow, TFC will very likely be a much better team in 2014 than it has ever been. This will be great news for the passionate fans of Toronto FC, who will perhaps finally see their team succeed.

Even though Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact fans might not like their rival making such signings – especially given the lack of activity of both Vancouver and Montreal on the transfer market – if they dig deep down and look at it as fans of Canadian soccer and the Canadian national team, they should appreciate it, too.

Toronto FC has been utterly terrible team for its entire existence. And the longer time it went on, it became clearer how the fan-base started to reject the team. Had the misery continued, it would risk pushing local soccer fans away from local and domestic soccer. More than 5.5 million people live in the Toronto metropolitan area – that's not even the entire GTA - which is almost 90/5 of the Vancouver and Montreal metropolitan areas combined. It would be disastrous for Canadian soccer if the soccer fans of the most populous city rejected the local team.

Some hardcore Whitecaps and Impact fans might not care about how Torontonians feel about soccer, but they should. If Toronto FC is successful it should benefit the team’s homegrown players. And if they develop better, this will consequently benefit the Canadian Men’s National Team program.

In a competitive sports market, professional soccer can be the access point for many fans to follow the national team, and as such, Canadian soccer needs all its teams to be as successful as possible in order to entice the casual sports fans to support the CMNT. This means that all Canadian soccer fans, regardless of club loyalties should welcome Toronto’s signings and be (sort of) happy if the team gets success. Canadian soccer is simply too frail for the existing parts to not support each other.

Henrik LONNE

Copenhagen Business School
Club Domestic:
AGF Aarhus
Club Foreign:
Toronto FC
Born and raised in Denmark, the US performance in the 2002 World Cup dragged Henrik into the world of North American soccer. Subsequent trips to Canada made him a Toronto FC fan from abroad. The passion he now has for MLS outshines most European leagues.